IT’S not uncommon for potential renters to stumble upon advertisements offering free rent, living costs and sometimes a weekly allowance — the only catch is applicants have to be female and willing to have sex with the landlord.
There is a growing number of landlords across the world using their position to prey on vulnerable women, with a recent undercover investigation exposing two of the men behind these seedy deals.
BBC journalist, Rachel Stonehouse, went uncover to shed light on the disturbing way women are targeted by these men.
Both of the men she agreed to meet with posted online adverts offering free rent and bills in Bristol in the United Kingdom in exchange for regular sexual favours from women half their age.
She set up meetings with both of the men, pretending to want more information about the arrangement.
One of the landlords, Tom, who was in his 60s, told Rachel she wouldn’t have to pay for rent, gas, electricity or Wi-Fi if she moved into his flat with him.
When she pushed him for more information about what the arrangement would specifically require her to do he started to become uncomfortable.
“I’m getting embarrassed now,” he said.
“Do what you want and if you want to make love, make love.”
When she pushed him further about what would happen if she didn’t feel comfortable sleeping with him straight away he told her she could “give it a week or two” but at the end of the day it was a requirement.
When Tom was told he was being filmed by the BBC he reportedly refused to respond.
The second landlord, Mike, told Rachel she would have “everything provided” for her if she agreed to a “friends with benefits relationship”.
“The room, the rent, all the bills, everything paid for,” Mike said.
“And I’ll even give you an allowance every week so that you feel that you’re looked after.”
When the reporter asked what the “benefits” part of the deal would be he told her that she would need to sleep with him at least “once a week”.
After being exposed for his shady offer Mike backtracked, claiming he was only pretending to be a landlord as part of research for his novel on the exploitation of women.
One woman told the news outlet that she had been in a similar situation where she was offered free rent so long as she had sex with the landlord.
She revealed that once she agreed to the deal he also wanted her to have sex with people he knew.
“One guy expected me to sleep with him, but also having (sic) group sex with a lot of his friends. It’s not worth it,” she said.
There are numerous ads of this nature on popular real estate listing sites, with one advertisement offering up a spare room for just £1 (.83) a month.
“I have a high sex drive, and am very adventurous and have no limits. Therefore (and this has worked over the last year) I am thinking of a couple of evenings a week where you surrender to me,” the listing read.
“Sometimes I will not want anything but will (want) to play with you. Sometimes we will play online together. Sometimes we will role play. One thing I can guarantee is you will be satisfied and it won’t be boring.
“You must like sex, and be adventurous as well. On the other nights of the week, we would be like any other people sharing a house.”
Tenants New South Wales considers unwanted sexual advances against a prospective resident as something that could fall foul of discrimination laws.
The organisation advises it’s unlawful for a landlord to discriminate by “sexually harassing you in the course of being provided or offered accommodation” or “by ending the tenancy because of your race, sex, gender identity, sexuality, disability, marital status, or age”.